ICC moots appeal against umpires from ICC Trophy

Published: Saturday, May 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:The Men in White will find themselves at the receiving end with ICC planning, subject to its Cricket Committee's approval, to allow teams appeal against umpires' decisions in the Champions Trophy scheduled in India later this year.

Use of technology, establishing consistent criteria for the assessment of bad light, assessments of playing conditions for various forms of the game and cricket bat specifications are among the subjects set to be discussed at the two-day meeting of the ICC Cricket Committee starting here today.

Chaired by Sunil Gavaskar, the ICC Cricket Committee will debate whether to allow players a certain number of appeals - to be determined - per innings if they feel a decision made by the on-field umpire may be incorrect.

''If the Committee supports the idea and it is accepted by the Chief Executives' Committee and the ICC Board, the process would be adopted at this year's ICC Champions Trophy in India and, if the trial proves successful, it would be repeated at next year's ICC Cricket World Cup,'' according to an ICC release here.

The appeal system has been used in American Football for several years and, earlier this year, was trialed in an event on the professional tennis circuit.

Explaining the decision to debate the issue, ICC General Manager - Cricket David Richardson said, ''The ICC has consistently shown a willingness to explore the possibilities offered by technology over the past four years ever since the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002.'' ''What we are looking to do is to increase the already high numbers of correct decisions made by our on-field umpires without diminishing their role and this approach has the potential to do just that,'' he said.

''Umpires at international level already get between 94 and 96 per cent of decisions correct so we believe we are not talking about a large number of potential referrals. And if it increases the number of correct decisions even further then that has to benefit the game,'' he added. The Committee will also discuss the merits of equipping umpires with earpieces that will allow them to listen to the stump microphones, something that will help them hear edges much more easily.

That has already been trialed during the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 and the Pakistan - India Test series in 2005 and if the measure is eventually adopted it could be mandatory in all series where ICC deems it to be appropriate, the release added.

Meanwhile, ''Powerplays'' may go the ''Supersub'' way in the meeting and the committee will also discuss the early termination of Test matches at any time in the final hour of play where a result is not possible.

Finalising playing conditions for the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 and next year's ICC Cricket World Cup and also to agree on standard playing conditions for Twenty20 international cricket also feature in the agenda.

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Ricky Ponting's bat with a graphite strip, the ICC Cricket Committee had appointed a sub-committee last year to review the Laws governing the cricket bat and they will be discussing the issue in this meeting again.

The sub-committee, consisting of Gavaskar, Arjuna Ranatunga, Angus Fraser, Tim May and David Richardson has worked with the MCC Laws Working Party to produce a series of recommendations, which will be discussed.

Meanwhile, the Committee will examine a proposal to increase the use of light meter readings to improve the consistency of decision-making in respect of what constitutes bad light.

Any recommendations made by the Cricket Committee then go forward to the Chief Executives' Committee for approval. If that approval is forthcoming then the decisions can be ratified at the ICC Board meeting with both meetings set for London in July.

The Cricket Committee meeting here includes six former international captains, four players who have ICC Cricket World Cup winners' medals and two of them - Gavaskar and Allan Border - are among only five players in the history of the game to have topped 10,000 Test runs.

The meeting will also be attended by ICC officials Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed, General Manager - Cricket David Richardson, Cricket Operations Manager Clive Hitchcock and Umpires and Referees Manager Doug Cowie.

ICC Cricket Committee: Sunil Gavaskar (Chairman), Tim May, Faruque Ahmed, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Angus Fraser, Allan Border, Majid Khan, Errol Stewart, Arjuna Ranatunga, Roland Holder, Kevan Barbour, Roland Lefebvre.

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